Rep. Jackie Toledo announces congressional run in north Hillsborough district

The state representative plans to run for Congressional District 15, which would include north Hillsborough and east Pasco.
State Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, waves at voters outside precinct #101 at Port Tampa Park Community Center in Tampa on Nov. 3, 2020.
State Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, waves at voters outside precinct #101 at Port Tampa Park Community Center in Tampa on Nov. 3, 2020. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published March 7, 2022|Updated March 7, 2022

State Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, announced on Monday that she is running for Congress in Florida’s proposed 15th District.

Calling herself a “mom on a mission” to protect parents’ rights and individual liberty, Toledo said she was committed to running in a district that serves the Tampa Bay region.

The exact boundaries of the congressional district are still being finalized amid the once-a-decade redistricting process. According to the draft map approved by the Legislature, the 15th District would include parts of north Hillsborough and east Pasco, including Temple Terrace, Lutz, Zephyrhills, Dade City, Wesley Chapel and parts of Tampa north of East Busch Boulevard and Hillsborough Avenue.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has already announced his plan to veto the congressional map once sent to his desk. A map must be approved by June 17, the final day for candidates to qualify for the election.

The proposed district leans slightly in favor of Republicans. Toledo lives in what is now the heavily Democratic congressional district held by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. Toledo had reportedly been discussing which congressional seat would be best for her run.

“I’m running for Congress because I think I can have a greater impact on my community, state and nation,” Toledo said in a statement. “The time is right to fix big problems that I don’t want my children to face. I can’t control how the maps turn out, but I am running.”

In her announcement, Toledo talked about wanting to fight inflation at the federal level and said she’s running to secure the border and push for stronger national security to stand up to Russia.

“Capitalism and individual freedoms are under attack,” Toledo said in a statement. “Congress needs people that will protect our values and stand up for our children’s future. I will represent our region and state by protecting the rule of law and fighting to keep more in your pocket.”

Related: Toledo may have alternatives for congressional run

If DeSantis does veto the congressional map, he can call lawmakers back for a special session to work it out. Legislators can either propose a new map or work to get enough support to override a veto. They can also declare an impasse and petition the court to draw the maps for them.

Toledo was first elected to the Florida House in 2016. She is a graduate of Gaither High School and the University of South Florida and lives in South Tampa.